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Summary

The actin and microtubule cytoskeleton play important roles in the life cycle of every virus. During attachment, internalization, endocytosis, nuclear targeting, transcription, replication, transport of progeny subviral particles, assembly, exocytosis, or cell-to-cell spread, viruses make use of different cellular cues and signals to enlist the cytoskeleton for their mission. Viruses induce rearrangements of cytoskeletal filaments so that they can utilize them as tracks or shove them aside when they represent barriers. Viral particles recruit molecular motors in order to hitchhike rides to different subcellular sites which provide the proper molecular environment for uncoating, replicating and packaging viral genomes. Interactions between subviral components and cytoskeletal tracks also help to orchestrate virus assembly, release and efficient cell-to-cell spread. There is probably not a single virus that does not use cytoskeletal and motor functions in its life cycle. Being well informed intracellular passengers, viruses provide us with unique tools to decipher how a particular cargo recruits one or several motors, how these are activated or tuned down depending on transport needs, and how cargoes switch from actin tracks to microtubules to nuclear pores and back.